South Bay

15 Great LA Parks for Birthday Parties Kids Will Rave About

Lucky for us, hosting mostly free kids’ birthday parties at the many glorious parks around Los Angeles is available year round; and with our famous weather, it’s a pretty safe perk to gamble on. From rustic to scenic to built-in activities, the city’s bounty is near limitless. And the best part: no sticky floor and dirty fingerprints to scour afterward. Be sure to check whether there are additional fees around parking or other rules; LA City parks, for example, require a permit fee for bounce houses (we have an entire post just on parks that allow bounce houses). Read on for some of our favorite party parks, with ideas for themes at each one. And check out these other parks with barbecue grills and parks with gated playgrounds, too.

Mother's Day Weekend Things To Do with LA Kids: Fire Service Day, Airport Day, and Brunch

Here's what Momma wants for Mother's Day: ice cream, firemen, and frappuccinos. All the rest is just whipped cream on said frap. Sure, there are other things that will be greatly appreciated. Ice show with world champions? Don't mind if I do! A magical musical movie screening? Are you a wizard reading my mind, Harry? And yes, I would be delighted to accompany you to brunch. Is there bacon at said brunch? More's the better.

Of course, every mom is different. One size does not fit all, which is why frappuccinos come in grande, venti, and some other size. Did I mention I'm a mom? I totally deserve this.

There are some other things going on this weekend: the final weekend of the Flashlight exhibit (with a free photo for Grandma or Mom), a breakfast with gibbons (see how well they treat their mamas), the Anaheim Baby Show (for Moms new to the momming business), and a bunch of clever craft activities that can double as gifts for Mom (aw, isn't that thoughtful!). There are even freebies for Mom, because, really, where would you be without her?  

Call your mom; send her some flowers, and keep reading for some of our most maternal picks for this weekend.

Grunion Run: A Late Night Family Adventure at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Every once in a while we parents get an opportunity to re-experience a treasured childhood memory with our own kids. If you grew up here in Southern California, odds are that you made it to a grunion run at least once when you were a child. If you're from elsewhere, chances are that you thought this was total urban folklore. Well, it's no myth; there really are SoCal fish that jump out of the ocean at midnight and slither up the beach when the moon is full. The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro has been hosting grunion runs with a front row seat for this peculiar phenomenon since 1964. I remember cooking out on the beach with friends and family, bundled up and waiting for those squirmy silver fish to appear. The hot dogs were usually a bit burnt, and the sand was wet and cold, but it was a night of adventure and marine biology that I never forgot.

Water Feature: 15 Water Playgrounds and Parks with Splash Pads in LA

Remember those great summer afternoons running through a sprinkler with the neighborhood kids? Over in New England and Nebraska that’s probably still happening, but in parched SoCal we really can't be turning on the hose to while away a lazy afternoon. Instead, packs of puddle-loving Angeleno kids splash through the heat at parks with free and fabulous water features, like the ones below. So if a pool or a water park sounds like too much work today, cool those kids down at a splash pad! After the rainy 2016-17 winter, all of these should be fully operational this summer with no more drought restrictions.

Mommy Freebies! Free Stuff for LA Moms on Mother's Day

Naturally, we hope that someone is making brunch reservations for you this Mother's Day. But what to do with the rest of the day? Well, there's nothing like feeling appreciated, and what says, "We appreciate you, Mom!" better than free admission (or a free meal or cocktail or Starbucks)? Check out these places around town where the free carpet is rolled out just for mamas on Mother's Day.

May GoList: Best Things To Do with LA and OC Kids This Month

The weekends of May are packed with activity; there's Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, and that one weekend without a holiday. There are parades, festivals, shows, and people eating bugs. With so much going on, it's easy to miss something. To help you keep track, here's a list of the biggest, most once-a-year-ish events happening this month. We'll keep adding to our Event Calendar daily, and it's a good idea to make sure our weekly recommendations arrive in your inbox, but we figured you'd appreciate some advance notice on these May favorites.

Trash and Recycling Events: Sanitation Yard Open Houses for Kids Who Love Garbage Trucks

Vroom Vroom! Does the sound of the garbage truck coming down the street send your kids running to watch? Would they love to sit in the trucks and maybe even take a ride? Do they know all the different types of trucks and haulers? Earth Day inaugurates the season of city yard open houses and recycling fairs, and—if you haven't heard—these events register high on the LA insider scale. More than 6,000 residents attend an open house in an average year.

20 Mother's Day Brunch Restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange County

Mother's Day, and the brunching is easy—and when we say easy, we mean the culinary version of a chick flick. This is not a day for the Denny's Lumberjack Slam (not that there's anything wrong with that); Mother's Day brunch begs sprigs of rosemary, ocean views, and maybe a harp plucked with a rose. Or, if that's not your thing, Fillmore & Western Railway is happy to Throw Mama on the Train. The key is Mom's Choice—all day!

Read on for some of our favorite restaurants that offer a pretty darn fabulous Mother's Day brunch.

15 Best Campgrounds for Tent Camping with Kids Near LA

Marshmallows. Check. Bug spray. Check. Air mattress. Check. Camping season is upon us. Hurrah! And thankfully in this multi-terrain region of ours, you don't need to go far to enjoy a night or two under the stars. A weekend without electronics, breathing fresh air, and enjoying meals over the campfire: all this can be yours without driving more than an hour or two—in some cases even less! Read on to find an easy destination for you and your happy campers. (And if the one you want is full this weekend, check out a few last minute camping spots.)

Earth Day with LA Kids: Green Festivals, Events, and Fun for Families

You say it's your Earth Day; well it's my Earth Day, too, yeah! And yes, we're gonna have a good time. Earth Day is one of those holidays that just screams kids. And when we say scream, we mean outdoor voices. Oh sure, Halloween has its ghosts and goblins; Christmas has its presents, and Easter has its chocolate bunnies (melting in the SoCal sun if not found quickly). But Earth Day is a holiday when families of all backgrounds can come together to appreciate our planet and keep our outdoors great for generations to come. And since loving the environment is something Californians take particular pride in, it's not surprising that we're spoiled for choice for celebrating Earth Day around LA.

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